Like a lot of people, the pandemic has given me a kick to give our home some TLC. It started with a tin of paint in the hallway one evening and slowly led to us re-jigging different parts of the house. From reformatting spaces (to accommodate things like working from home), to replacing old furniture with more practical items to maximise storage (goodbye to our trusty ol’ Kallax).
Something about being stuck at home made us realise how we could be using our spaces better. And while there has been a lot of change in our furniture (downsizing beds, new wardrobes etc) we’ve also been rethinking/updating the things we already have and injecting a bit more character, colour, fun and style into our home. (We currently live with plain, all white walls and ceilings.)
Growing up, I used to love redecorating my bedroom. These were always cheap and cheerful changes with a lot of hard graft and DIY (I have memories of learning to strip, and put up wallpaper with my mum!) But I love that my parents were pretty free and easy with letting me paint my room, experiment with colour and designs- from colour blocking to feature walls. Sometimes, it can be easy to feel stuck with what you have or be scared of committing to something new. Which is why I love changeable options- from paint that can just be painted over, to newer materials like the removable wallpaper from Spoonflower.
Having a print wallpaper on the wall feels like a bit too big of a step for me (there’s that design commitment -a- phobe I was talking about!), so I was really intrigued by the idea of using the wallpaper to add some print on a smaller scale.
Inspired by some chairs I saw on the Anthropologie website, I gave my sewing corner chair (which is now the WFH chair- thanks, COVID) a bit of an update. Here’s how I did it!
This post has been created using materials given to me as part of my Ambassador role with Spoonflower. Scroll down for a discount code.
Upcycling Furniture with Spoonflower Removal Wallpaper
What is Peel and Stick Removable Wallpaper?
First, let’s start with what it is! It’s a woven-textured polyester fabric with an adhesive backing- a bit like contact paper but heavier. It is removable (and re-positionable) which makes it perfect if you’re scared of committing to a print, or if you’re renting etc and can’t make permanent changes to your interiors. Not just for accent walls- it’s heavier texture makes it perfect for drawer liners, bookcases, wall decals and an array of craft and home DIY projects.
Things you need to know (taken from Spoonflower):
- It is not recommended for use on walls with texture, walls painted with “scrubbable” paints or in children’s rooms.They recommend Pre-pasted Removable Smooth or Non-Pasted Traditional Pebble Wallpaper for children’s rooms.
The roll of wallpaper comes with a handy white scraper which you use to apply it smoothly. CHECK YOUR BOX FOR THIS. Sadly, I did not and only found it after my daughter was playing with the packaging once I had finished. Face palm moment.
Choosing your base material
This is key to getting the best finish is your base. Keep in mind the advice they’ve mentioned. You may want to test an area before you take on the whole project. Things with a high gloss finish or varnish may need to be sanded down a bit.
I’m using my old sewing desk chair which is a classic style- made from shaped plywood. Although it’s smooth, it still has a slight grain to the touch which works well.
If it’s your first time using this type of material you, you might want to stick with something flat e.g. drawer fronts, shelving, tables. Do as I say, not as I do! The curves of my chair meant I had to get creative with getting the paper to lay flat but this is where my sewing knowledge helped (as you’ll see!)
What you’ll need:
- Removable wallpaper. I’m using it in a Moroccan Tile Print by Red Pumpkin Studio
- Pencil and feltip/pen
- Newspaper/scrap wrapping paper
- Craft knife
- Fine sandpaper
- Clear sealant/varnish (if you want to make it more permanent
- Tools to remove any hardware
- An extra pair of hands would also be handy too! But I did manage this on my own with some awkward positioning!
- Remove any hardware and unscrew the chair from the base/legs. This will leave you with the body of the chair
- Create a newspaper template. Cover the chair with newspaper (I had to tape several pieces together to make it large enough)
- Fold the paper over the edges nice and tightly, hugging the corners. I found taping it in place helped.
- Mark the edge of your template with a pen. Then remove the template carefully, removing any tape to lay it out flat.
- Cut out along your line marks to create your template.
- Position your template against your wallpaper- take care and think about the pattern placement. I chose to align the central motif in the circular hole.
- Draw around your template in light pencil. You may want to do this from the other side but as I wanted to see the pattern I did it from the right side.
- Draw an extra line around this, approx 1cm away. This will be the line we cut along, giving us some leeway when we position it to stick.
- Cut out your template.
- Start applying! Position the paper against the chair, lining up with the first line we drew (the original template line). There will be an overlap from the extra 1cm we added (see the photo on the right).
- Work in small sections. Peeling back and smoothing over with the scraper. You may need to peel back and reposition. It can handle a few of these, but be careful not to overdo it (might lose its stick) and avoid it sticking to itself and turning into a gluey nightmare.
- With the curves of my chair I was left with little areas where the paper can’t smooth over the curved edges. For these areas I created little slashes in the paper. If I’m honest, I winged these by cutting into the paper where I noticed the fullness.
I had to do 4 of these in total, 2 on each side. The upper ones where the curves are more subtly are hardly noticeable, but the ones curving over the main bend in the chair are more obvious as the paper had to spread more to accommodate the angle. (I promise this makes a lot more sense if you sew! Think darts and fabric manipulation!) You could fill in the gap if you don’t like it but I honestly don’t mind it.
- Using the craft knife, cut away the excess. Try to stick as close to the chair edge as possible and go slowly with this step! Watch your fingers too. Cut down and away from yourself.
- Sand down the edge of the paper to get rid of the woven threads that have been exposed from cutting the wallpaper.
- If you’re wanting to give it a bit more longevity- apply a sealer to the top. If you want to keep it easily removable (and changeable) then you might want to miss this step!
- Reassemble the chair- I poked some holes through the paper to make it easier to insert the screws back in.
I have to say, I love the effect. The subtle print adds a bit more interest against my white desk, but I love that it is still changeable, depending on whatever new life my sewing chair-now-work/desk chair takes on!
Like I said, the curved element of my chair did throw up some extra challenges but I’m so pleased with the end result. When I posted the finished chair on my Instagram my husband sent me a shocked message saying “is this for real” and “did you do this?”- both of which made me think “uh-oh, did I forget to tell him I’m messing with the furniture again…”?? But luckily for me, he was just that impressed.
So what do you think? Do you like the experimental side of removal wallpaper? Are there any other bits of furniture I should turn my attention to?
*Materials were gifted as part of my ongoing relationship with Spoonflower, Opinions are my own.